Edo Govt Suspends Uromi Traditional Ruler

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PDP condemns suspension
Adibe Emenyonu 
The Edo State Government has suspended the Onojie of Uromi, Anselm Aidenojie, from office as the Onojie for seven days.

The suspension was contained in a letter signed on Thursday by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, dated October 26, 2016, titled: ‘Suspension from office as Traditional Ruler.’

According to the SSG, “I write to convey to you, the decision of the Edo State Executive Council at its meeting on the October 26, 2016, suspending you from office for seven days as Onojie of Uromi. The suspension from office was based on, among other reasons: ‘Your unprovoked attack, inflicting grievous bodily harm on one Mrs. Betty Okoebor on September 28, 2016 in full public glare to the embarrassment of those present and causing disgrace to your otherwise esteemed office.

“Your refusal, even after two weeks, to respond to a query issued by the appropriate authority within the stipulated 72 hours demonstrating total disregard and disrespect for constituted authority; and ‘travelling outside the country without appropriate permission in further demonstration of your disregard for extant regulations and laws.

“In the circumstances, the State Executive Council has arrived at a conclusion that these and other acts of misconduct of Your Royal Highness, the Onojie of Uromi are not only distasteful but also unbecoming of a traditional ruler of your status.

“Based on the above and convinced that your highness has denied yourself of the opportunity of entering a plea against the charges against you that were duly conveyed in writing to you, and therefore in exercise of the powers conferred on the State Executive Council by virtue of Section 28(1) of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs Law (1979) and all other Laws enabling it in that behalf, has approved your suspension from office as the Onojie of Uromi with immediate effect for a period of seven days, that is, from October 26, 2016 to November 1, 2016.

“Consequently, within the suspension period, you shall cease to be recognised and treated as traditional ruler or as the Onojie of Uromi in Edo State and you shall not exercise any powers or function or enjoy any privileges provided for under the Traditional Rulers and Chief Law (1979) and all other relevant provisions under the said law.

“Within the seven-day suspension period, you are required to tender unreserved apologies to your victim, Mrs. Betty Okoebor and the Government of Edo State. However, if within the said seven days no public apology in tendered by your very self, you will stand deposed as the Onojie of Uromi.”
However, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the suspension as “senseless, unconstitutional and anti-people”.

The state Chairman of the PDP, Chief Dan Orbih, said the action of the governor was a clear manifestation of what I said at that time.
“What Oshiomhole must come to terms with is that he has no power, under our constitution and law to take the actions he has just taken.”